In 2011, when my first son was not quite a year old, I had a small dysplasia, which is a precancerous lesion, on my tongue. Dr. Jeffrey Liu, a surgical oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center, did the surgery to remove it. Everything went really well.
Twelve years ago, when I was 59 years old, I was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer of the tongue. I had some pain on the left side of my tongue, and I unfortunately ignored it. I thought it would go away. Eventually, I got it looked at and it turned out to be cancer. That’s how I began my journey at Fox Chase Cancer Center.
A few days before leaving on my vacation in August, 2017, I noticed a loose tooth. My biggest worry was that maybe I had an abscess and it would ruin my trip.
When I got home, my dentist said I should have it pulled, so I went to an oral surgeon. The oral surgeon said, “I see something, so I’m going to do a biopsy.” I kind of knew right then that I had cancer.